tv Special Report With Bret Baier FOX News January 8, 2014 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
>> if you like curling and want to direct yourire at someone, direct it to greg. >> direct it at me. i'm not going to apologize. >> we'll be back here tomorrow. "special report" is next. the president and the vice president rush to show a united front after scathing comments from their former pentagon chief. plus, senator marco rubio in the center seat. this is "special report." good evening. i'm bret baier. like the aftershocks after a major earthquake, rumbles from robert gates, highly critical remarks about the president and vice president are reverberating through washington tonight. the white house executed a hurry-up, damage control defense, while critics embraced intheicider level condemnation of the president's foreign policy approach.
we have fox team coverage. brit hume with his takes on the gates excerpts. a closer look at the way gates describes the brazen political motivations of the iraq surge in 2007. shannon bream with military reaction to the book, but we begin with chief white house correspondent ed henry with an administration appearing to be on spin cycle tonight. good evening, ed. >> evening, bret. rare access today to the president and vice president for news photographers but not reporters to ask questions about these explosive allegations that are still reverberating. for the first time in five years, president obama and vice president biden today opened up their weekly lunch to cameras. just hours after details leaked from the memoirs of former defense secretary robert gates, questioning the leadership of the question and blasting the vice president's judgment. though spokesman jay carney insists the timing was a coincidence. the president was merely responding to photographers
demanding more access. >> you can decide for yourselves what you want to believe. >> gates writes, while the president deserved credit for surging 30,000 more troops to afghanistan, the secretary ultimately concluded the president did not believe in the mission or in his own strategy to win. and was only focused on eventually getting out. has allowed our soldiers and marines and navy corps men to be killed or maimed in a war that the president doesn't believe makes sense or he doesn't believe he can win. that is as low as any president in our history has gone. >> besides sharply defending the vice president as a trusted adviser, amid gates' claim biden has gotten every major national security decision wrong for years, carney insisted the president has had great faith the troops could carry out the mission after inheriting a war that was adrift. >> we focused the mission, made it clear for our troops and civilians in afghanistan what the mission was about, why we were in afghanistan.
and why it was necessary to be clear that we weren't staying in afghanistan in a combat mission forever. >> republican lindsey graham, who was just in afghanistan, is skeptical that mr. obama is committed to working out a deal to keep at least a small u.s. force to lock in security gains. >> he is awol when it comes to leadership, and when it comes to afghanistan, we have a chance to get that right. he hasn't talked to the afghan president since july. >> carney noted mr. obama briefly exchanged greetings with afghan president hamid karzai at last month's memorial service for nelson mandela. >> how could the two leaders not talk in month? >> they have had discussions in the past. there's not a lot of mystery about our views on this document. >> allies of the president, meanwhile, are raising questions about a curious passage near the end of the book where gates writes the president ended a meeting about iran by warning if anyone was writing memoirs, he had not made a final decision about the matter. gates writing, goat, i was
offended by his suspicion that any of us would ever write about such sensitive matters. of course, gates ended up writing about a whole series of sensitive matters, which one top official told me is ironic, to say the least. they're expressing shock because officials say since gates ran the cia, he has always been known for discretion, but he's clearly decided to speak out and speak out loudly. >> ed henry live on the north lawn, thank you. reaction from the troops who fought in rairaq and afghanista on the words of their boss and commander in chief ranges from disappointing to unsurprising. shannon has that part of the story. >> i think this is going to be devastating to the administration. >> in the wake of revelations included in former defense secretary robert gates' upcoming book that president obama didn't, quote, believe in his own strategy with respect to afghanistan, some soldiers who were sent to the front lines say they are angry but not shocked. >> it's infuriating and i have gotten e-mail after e-mail and
phone call today and the last couple days from guys who have served, outraged. outraged but also, it was just a confirmation of what they thought they already knew in their gut. >> one former senior army officer says, quote, it was clear, in fact, that obama had misgivings about both iraq and afghanistan, in the end, it appeared he grudgedly thought afghanistan was the right war, and then he saw it as an albatross around his neck. the book's revelations will also have an impact on the families of those who died serving in afghanistan. >> i think most families who read this book will be shocked at the ineptitude and the amateurishness of those at the very highest levels of our decision making. >> so many families are invested in, hey, my son gave his life for this nation, and i understand that other families have done the same, but to hear that the commander in chief may have put their son or daughter on the line not fully believing in the strategy he sent them there for, it's offensive. it's outrageous. it's maddening.
>> some believe the trouble stems from the president's skepticism and mistrust of his own military leaders. >> i think the one thing that the american people constantly trust in is the military. it's kind of like a rock. when the administration doesn't trust in the military establishment, then you have serious issues. >> there are skeptics of former secretary gates as well. one former active duty sailor who has served two tours overseas telling fox he lost respect for gates, saying, quote, why did he stay in office? and why didn't he say anything then? >> administration critics are jumping on one of the most disturbing parts. his exchange about hillary clinton and the president about the rairaq war and what they we willing to do and say to further their presidential aspirations. in his book, gates called the exchange remarkable. he writes, quote, hillary told the president her opposition to
the 2007 surge in iraq had been political because she was facing him in the iowa primary. the president conceded vaguely that opposition to the iraq surge had been political. to hear the two of them making these admissions and in front of me was as surprising as it was dismaying. >> i thought that was a shocking revelation, that both secretary clinton and president obama would be so candid about revealing their political motivations. and i think it's, in hillary clinton's case, essentially a disqualifying fact in the idea that she wants to be president of the united states. >> gates' disclosure means staying the 2016 front runner who critics say makes no move without motivation and has little to show for her tenure as secretary of state. >> i would say she was on the national security team during the osama bin laden raid, and his death and demise, so that would be a positive thing. but i can't think of much else beyond that. >> brooks points to her failed
legacy of strained relationships with russia, and her setting relations back. to the unpredictable moves of kim jong-un in north korea. iran's quest for nuclear capability, turmoil in syria, where over 100,000 have died in the civil war, and egypt, where the now outlawed muslim brotherhood remains a volatile political force, and benghazi, marked by dispute over the terrorist attack and the lingering claim by the state department. >> we had four dead americans. was it pause of a protest or guys out for a walk who decided to kill some americans? what difference at this point does it make? >> still, one analyst said she'll remain a political force to be reckoned with. >> i don't think it's going to have any affect on hillary's chances in 2016. most americans are happy we're out of iraq. i don't think it's going to be much of an issue. >> while clinton may bristle at
some of gates' descriptions of her, but he describes her as smart, tough minded, funny, and a superb representative of the united states all over the world. we reached out to secretary clinton's office today. we have not heard back. bret. >> okay, doug, thank you. let's get reaction to all of this from senior political analyst brit hume. >> hi, bret. if you can get past one ring, why bob gates stayed as long as he did in a administration about which he harbored such misgivings, his revelations have an unmistakable ring of truth. the most damning of his charges, that president obama even as he surged 30,000 additional men and women into the war in afghanistan, had little confidence such a strategy would work and that he was mainly focused not on winning. but leaving. this has the ring of truth. it's because even as mr. obama announced a troop surge, he also announced, you will recall, he would begin calling it down in 16 months. he said nothing about the conflict unhill he announced
time tables for withdrawal, not just for the u.s. troops, but for all troops. it's not uncommon for leaders to have worries and doubts about choices in war time when things are going badly and options are scarce, but that's not the same as sending soldiers to fight and die to fight for a strategy a leader never believed in from the start. what mr. obama seemed to believe in instead is after he and his party said for years that iraq was the wrong war and afghanistan the right one, he could not simply leave there without making an effort, even if he thought it was doomed to fail. gates says politics was often a factor though never decisive in president obama's policy decisions. readers can read for themselves whether it was just a factor in this one. >> we saw how the administration has gone out of its way to defend vice president biden. the photo-op today, the statement last night, all based on the one sentence in the excerpts that he's wrong, according to gates, on all the
major foreign policy issues. >> gates is certainly not the first person to say that about joe biden. for all the good in the man, there's a lot about joe biden, he really was wrong about a lot of things. in the 1980s, he was wrong, he wanted to keep the persian cruise missiles out of europe to support the nuclear freeze, when the first gulf war came along, he was opposed to the war and voted against it. when the second iraq war came along, he voted for it. when the surge came along, he was against that. the list goes on. up into this administration when the president was about to send the troops on the raid to kill bin laden, he was opposed to that. so it's striking the that they would defend him so vigorously when he has, clearly, been wrong so very often. >> all right, brit, thank you. coming up in just a few minute, florida republican senator marco rube you in our center seat. if you have something you would like to ask him, let me know at facebook, or on twitter.
@bretbaier or #specialreport. now a former detainee at guantanamo bay fits in with the benghazi terrorist attacks. first, here's what some of our fox affiliates are cover. fox 43 in virginia beach. a navy helicopter crashing 12 miles off the virginia coast. four of the five crew members have been recovered, taken to the hospital. we're just getting word that one has died. the search is continuing for the fifth. an air force helicopter crashed yesterday off the coast of england, killing four airmen. wnyw in new york on e-mails showing top aides to new jersey governor chris christie created gridlock. two transit executives have resigned over this. after cancelling his only public event for the day, christie released a statement saying he was unaware of the inappropriate
conduct of one of his staff members and she's, quote, outraged and deeply saddened. he called the action unacceptable and said people will be held responsible. and this is a live look at chicago from our fox affiliate wfld. the big story there tonight, a slight break from the record low temperatures this week. chicago is looking for a low of 3 below with no windchill factor tonight. a warm front. that's tonight's live look outside the beltway from "special report." we'll be right back. c explore what's new for 575 calories or less on oulighter fareu. enjoy fresh tossed. go fish. and try our new rosemary garlic chicken at olive garden.
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it's out there somewhere spreading the good word about idaho potatoes and raising money for meals on wheels. but we'd really like our truck back, so if you see it, let us know, would you? thanks. what? the obama administration is now confirming that a prime suspect in the benghazi attack was a former guantanamo detainee. as first reporter on "special report," 16 months ago. chief intelligence correspondent catherine herridge explains the suspect has long-standing ties to osama bin laden's network. >> because of his alleged role
in the benghazi terrorist attack, the state department is on the cusp of publicly designating a former guantanamo detainee and his grub, ansar al sheraria as foreign terror detainees. >> there's no indication at this point that core al qaeda was involved or planned these attacks. and these are not official affiliates of al qaeda. >> but the public designation of the group comes 16 months after fox's bret baier first identified the libyan as a suspect and three months after fox reported he was in benghazi on 9/11. according to his guantanamo file, the former detainee has historic ties to the al qaeda network. at one time, training at osama bin laden's camp. >> he was important enough to al qaeda to record his monthly stipend on the laptop, which would tell you something about his place in the al qaeda
stratosphere. >> a form bin laden body guard traveled from libya to pakistan after the attack, and fox is told investigators are exploring whether he was carrying sensitive computer hardware. they say the state department seems to be disconnecting the dots. >> so given that full body of evidence, it really does defy logic to say that al qaeda was not in any way involved in this attack. >> the terrorist designation further weakens the reporting of the "new york times" investigation which concluded no evidence of al qaeda involvement. a state department survivor, an american eyewitness, recently told senator lindsey graham how the attack played out. >> he said there was no protest at all outside the consulate. a 16 to 20-person group ran to the gate, heavily armed, carrying an islamic banner, that we later found out to be the banner of an cereal sharia. >> and while the state department investigation known
as the accountability review board, repeatedly describes the benghazi operation as a temporary mission, the survivor told him otherwise, after the ied attack in june 2012, a new one-year lease was renewed for two villas. >> why did the accountability review board fail to find this out? >> fox news learning today at least five house members met with john boehner who has blocked a select committee. the public is losing faith in the ability to investigate benghazi and if a select committee is launched too close to the investigations, critics will deem it purely political. still ahead, sunshine state senator marco rubio fields questions from the panel and you. first, the war on poverty is 50 years old today. how effective and expensive has it been? ♪
the senate continues to debate the extension of emergency unemployment benefits. we reported yesterday the first 60-vote hurdle was cleared with six republicans joining all democrats, but that coalition may be cracking as republicans including at least two who voted in favor of the bill, are calling for the bill to be paid for with offsetting spending cuts. democrats continue to call for a no-strings-attached extension. just a minute ago, during the commercial break, senator reid, the senate majority leader, tweeted, i oppose paying for a short term extension of unemployment insurance if republicans insist for pay-fors, we believe there should be longer term unemployment insurance extension. benefits are only part of the debate on how to solve poverty in america, on this, the 50th anniversary of the war on poverty, james rosen looks at the results.
>> it was in president lyndon b. johnson's first state of the union address delivered in the wake of his predecessor's assassination that the federal government launched what lbj called an unconditional war on poverty in america. >> it will not be a short or easy struggle. >> back in 1964, 36 million americans lived in poverty. today, it's close to 47 million. but the u.s. population has grown dramatically over the last 50 years and the percentage of americans in poverty has declined in that timespan from 19% to 15%. still, that's higher than in any point in the first decade of this millennium and far from the record low of 11.1% achieved under president nixon in 1973. what's more, the percentage of children living in poverty is essentially unchanged since 1964. >> i think there's no question that the war on poverty that lyndon johnson declared 50 years ago wednesday has made very important advances. there's just no question.
i mean, 1963, 51% of african-americans were in poverty and about 25% had graduated from high school. >> today, about 27% of african-americans live in poverty and an estimated 62% of them graduate from high school. by some estimates, uncle sam has spent $15 trillion on anti-poverty programs since 1964, and as a percentage of federal outlays, such spending has increased from 4% to 16%. >> the share of the population that has a job, that hasn't really recovered much since the recession ended and the recovery officially began, and i don't really see anybody in washington who is really focused on that. >> liberals and conservatives agree that the last 50 years offer some successes and much data from which to learn, and that better education is a key part of the puzzle. what they don't tend to agree on is how to improve education and whether more money will achieve that. bret. >> james, thank you. stocks were mixed today. the dow fell 68. the s&p 500 lost less than a
half point. the nasdaq gained just over 12. no grapevine. marco rubio pulls up a chair here with the panel for center street. up next, how is the administration responding to criticism from former defense secretary robert gates? we'll ask the fox all-stars. if you have not participated, take a moment. it's your chance to have a virtual seat on the panel. check it out. so there i was again, explaining my moderate to severe chronic plaque psoas to another new stylist. it was a total earrassment. and t the kind of attention wanted. so i had a serus talk with my dermatologt about my treatment options. this time, she prescribed humira-adalimumab. humira helps tclear the surface of my skin by actuallrking inside my body. in clinical trials, most adults with moderatekin to severe plaque psoriasis saw 75% skin clearance. and the majority of people were clear or almost clear in just 4 months. humira can lower your ability
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he's played a key role in every major national security and foreign policy debate and policy discussion in this administration, in this white house. >> why, if it's such a strong relationship, do you have to go out of your way to defend him? >> this is in response to a single sentence that made a cat gorical statement of opinion by secretary gates about the vice president. and his views, that we, in that case, we could say clearly that the president disagrees with that. >> first time in five yearsnto between president obama and vice president biden. this is in response, we thought, to this gates book, although the white house denied that today, said it was just a coincidence. here's the line that jay carney
was referring to in the gates book. a quote, i think he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades. the former defense secretary talking about vice president biden. what about all this? let's bring in our panel, george will, juan williams, and steve hayes. george? creating quite a stir here in washington. >> well, bob gates is one of the great public figures of the last 50 years. may not be a great author, because he seems to have produced a somewhat schizophrenic book, judging by the excerpts, which are ample at this point. he said the president is failing to made but has made a decision to go after bin laden one of the most courageous -- the most courageous decision gates has seen in the white house, and he served every president from nixon to this one with the exception of clinton. it's a clash of cultures in a way. he's a national security lifer. he's a cold warrior, who will tell you with a smile that he
was -- when the russians were occupying afghanistan, he was sending stinger missiles in to the people fighting. he's been around forever, and i think it's just a clash of cultures with the community organizers from chicago. >> the other quote that is obviously getting a lot of attention, juan, the quote about afghanistan strategy. that the president, quote, doesn't believe in his own strategy, doesn't consider the war to be his. for him, it's all about getting out. this just a few weeks after ordering the surge into afghanistan. >> correct. and you know, again, i just -- i think of shakespeare, much ado about nothing. here is a president who campaigned way back, as saying he was opposed to this. didn't think it was the right war. you know, all that. >> coming to afghanistan, thinking, you know what? if we're going to go in there, we have to go in in this way and that way, but we should get out. he said all this right from the start, and then he does the surge, which most conservatives
had urged him to do. don't back out prematurely, but go in, send the additional troops. he doesn't send as many as the military asks, but he still sends more than 30,000 additional troops. he's kept those troops in there through this year, through the end of 2014, and i think bob gates, who was, you know, part of what jay carney called today a team of rivals, then things, gee, why don't people have full confidence in their plans? well, this president from the start had said he had questions about the strategy. >> quickly, i want to get to another topic. >> look, the full surge, all of the surge troops wouldn't even be in afghanistan for another eight months until october of that same year. for the president to have lost faith in his strategy in march, i think is really striking. it is something that i think many of us suspected. we certainly talked about it here, but it's still striking to see it written down by the secretary of defense in the meetings. >> we first reported that this former guantanamo bay detainee
had been tied to the benghazi attacks. six days after the attacks, back in 2012. now, we're learning that the administration is ready to designate him and ansar al sharia a terrorist group. there was a back and forth about that today. >> there's no indication at this point that core al qaeda was involved or planned these attacks and these are not official affiliates of al qaeda. >> he has ties to bin laden. he trained with him and in camps in pakistan in 1993. doesn't that give him ties to al qaeda? if you're an aluminous of al qaeda, doesn't that give you ties? to al qaeda? i'm just curious what it ta takes -- what does it take to have ties to al qaeda? is it an e-mail? is it a certificate of completed training? i'm just curious what it takes to have ties to al qaeda. >> they don't give out t-shirs s
or membership cards as you know. >> he was identified as an al qaeda member receiving a monthly stipend for his family. >> steve, you and tom johnson have done a lot of reporting on this. it seems to fly in the face of the "new york times" piece that was pretty extensive. >> it certainly does. this reporting invalidates the "new york times" piece. they said there were no ties to al qaeda. no evidence that al qaeda had any role at all, and they specifically said that he was thought not to have been involved. look, he trained in al qaeda training camps. he received stipends from al qaeda. he was close to al qaeda's number three. if he's not al qaeda, if he doesn't qualify as al qaeda, nobody does. but this really misses the larger point. the administration is trying to say that al qaeda is, these 30 people in the mountains in pakistan or afghanistan, who comprised the leadership. al qaeda is much broader than that, and that's the threat we face. >> next up, senator marco rubio in the center seat. she keeps you on your toes.
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right now, we welcome florida republican senator marco rubio to our center seat. senator, thank you for being here. i know you gave a big speech today on the war on poverty. first we want to talk about the news of the day, and the defense secretary gates book. obviously, the focus, a lot is on afghanistan and the policy there. i want to ask you about what you think about afghanistan. the latest polls, washington post/abc poll, says 66% of people say that the war in afghanistan has not been worth fighting. 30% saying it has been worth fighting. you look at those numbers, and this is actually -- there are other polls saying it's actually more people in america are against the afghan war. if it's a president rubio, what are you doing in afghanistan? >> a couple things. obviously, i understand why people feel that way. it's come at a tremendous price of life and injuries people have
suffered, and clearly money as well. what's important to remember about afghanistan is it was the premier operational area in the world for jihadist planned attacks on us, around the world and in the west in general. if in fact it becomes that again, the world becomes a more dangerous place. so we have a significant interest in insuring the place does not devolve once again into a chaotic place where terrorist organizations can use it to undermine their neighbors and come after us, so we do have an interest in that. but that's mitigated, limited by, at the end of the day, it's the afghans' responsibility, and they have a president who is increasingly appearing to be unstable in the direction he wants to take the country. there are questions on whether the election is even going to occur. the u.s. should try to negotiate a deal where we have a presence there. we have to downscale the presence at some point. i think it's happening now. at some point, you have to negotiate a long term stratus of being there, which is not overly
aggressive. >> you would do that? you would do that with karzai? >> only, for example, if it's going to protect our soldiers. the numbers have to be at the right level. not too high. otherwise, you're better off not being there at all. especially if you're dealing with something who is not going to give you assurances that your service men and women there are going to be protected, and also having some level of immunity from rogue prosecutors and others on the ground there. >> do you think secretary gates should have written this wook? >> look, he has an opinion on what he wanted to write, he felt strongly about it. i was surprised, as i said before we went on the air, that it came out. nothing in the book surprises me in that i have been critical of the president's foreign policy and his views of the country. i think it's made the country unsafe because it's largely driven by tactics and policy. that's not a way to conduct foreign policy. >> george? >> in iraq after eight years, place as long as the second world war, we pool oull our tro
out and it looks ominous in iraq. there are people who say it wouldn't look ominous if we had a residual force. do you agree? if so, how big, and what would they do to stop that? >> it could be helpful, but ultimately, a residual force alone is not enough. you have to have a government in place that is actually able to provide for security and is functional. many of the problems in iraq -- not just to the u.s. not being there, but to maliki and the decisions they have made internally and the persecutions there that have created the space to happen. by the way, some of the stuff happening in iraq is related to what is happening in syria. you have groups occupyerating out of syria, crossing over and conducting operations in iraq as well. these things are all intertwined. the answer is, yes, the u.s. presence would have been useful, but it would not have guaranteed that the situation in iraq would not have devolved. >> how would it work? >> look, we have residual forces all over the world. obviously in different
circumstances, but we have been in south korea for a significant period of time. >> not a civil war going on. >> that's the point, that's why i got to the point about saying that the government there ultimately, and that's going to be the case in afghanistan as well, has to be able to provide internal security on their own. if you don't have a functional government that can provide the basics of government, no residual force is going to ultimately guarantee the result we want. it's just not possible. ultimately, iraq belongs to iraq. even afghanistan belongs to afghans. they ultimately have to be responsible for that. >> steve? >> is the war on terror over? >> of course not. in fact, it's spread in a way that makes it even more dangerous. you now see al qaeda elements in other terrorist elements creating strongholds in africa. syria has become probably close to what afghanistan looked like not so long ago. we have issues in afghanistan, iraq. i worry about the stability of jordan. clearly the stability of lebanon has never been great. even more undermined now. and i think you look at some of the regional players, and they see the u.s. as an unreliable
partner in the region, and i think that is creating a vacuum whereby these individual countries are now pursuing their own agendas in ways that are quite frankly not in our national security interests. >> if you go back to 2008, president obama said he would consider sending in u.s. troops back into iraq if al qaeda were to establish that as a base of operations. given what has happened in ramadi, given what happened in fallujah, is that something you would consider? >> i don't think that's a viable option at this point. clearly, there are elements in iraq carrying out attacks against the yoousz, we would reserve being able to attack them, but in terms of a full-scale invasion -- >> something short of that? >> again, look, if there's a group planning and carrying out attacks against the u.s. or our national interests, every option should be on the table, including targeted strikes. we conduct those all over regions of the world now. that would have to be an option, but in terms of a u.s. return on the ground with boots on the
ground and an invasion of iraq, i think at that point, that's not really what i think is a viable option. and more importantly, i would just say to you that it goes back to the point i made earlier, george. iraq, at the end of the day, can't be saved if it doesn't have a government that can function. there's only so much we can do. at some point, it's up to them. i mean, those are the limits to our power, no matter what we try to do. >> juan. >> senator rubio, earlier, you said president obama really doesn't have a foreign policy. he's responding to political demands being made. i was interested in that because i'm thinking to myself, president rubio, as bret baier described you, had to make a chose because the president needs to respond to the will of the american people. in the poll cited earlier, 54% of republicans say it's not worth being in afghanistan right now. 60% of republicans say remove most of the troops from afghanistan. so would you ignore the will of the american people? >> first of all, what i said is he didn't have a strategic foreign policy. it was largely based on politics
and staktices. a strategic foreign policy outlined what our interests are. i give you for example, syria. he failed to make an argument to the american people why the conflict in syria mattered. he famed to that before we got to an authorization of action. and you see why it mattered. it's becoming a primary area to carry and organize attacks not just in syria, in lebanon, iraq, potentially in jordan. >> you're saying president rubio would send troops to syria? >> i never called for u.s. engagement. what i called for a year and a half ago was for us to try to identify non-jihadist elements on the ground when it was possible and empower them because i knee in the absence of powering them, it would create a vacuum and it would be filled by who it's filmed with now, foreign fighters, jihadists, fighters, who are using syria now and the chaos there. >> you would send aid to the rebels even though there were
questions whether or not they had ties to terrorist organizations. >> early in the conflict, that was not the case. they began to stream into syria well into the conflict. in the initial stages of the conflict, there was the possibility, not the guarantee, but the possibility of identifying elements there who were not jihadists, who were syrians, by the way. many of the terrorists operating in syria are not syrian. they're foreign fighters coming in from europe in addition to other parts of the world, and by the way, are going to go back to europe one day and the europeans are worried about it. we had an opportunity early on to do that. that didn't happen. and as a result, you created this vacuum. and what is going to fill a vacuum? these terrorists. they realize there's this ungoverned area where there's chaos. that's a place we can set up terrorist camps, training operations. that's a place we can operate from. and that's what's happening in syria right now. >> senator, stand by if you would. we'll talk domestic policy, unemployment, the war on poverty. more with senator rubio in the center seat after a quick break. hi, i'm terry and i have diabetic nerve pain.
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we're back with our panel and senator marco rubio in our center seat. senator reid asked for people to tweet in and send us facebook messages with questions ngs tweeted in: how can middle class survive with limited, few good paying jobs and rising mortgage rates? >> that's the fundamental question that we have in our country. look, there is a lot of reasons why middle class is struggling. one of them is that our economy has changed. a lot of middle school and lower skill jobs provided middle class living have gone away. outsourced or technology has replaced them and the ones that remain don't keep up with the cost of living.
robust free enterprise committee not a crony capitalist one truly enterprise one where these sorts of better-paying jobs are being created. the other is you have got to give people the skills for new jobs. the new jobs require higher level of skills and education than jobs used to require in the past. we use v. to address both of those. that's true whether erratic indicating equality helping the middle class and prosper beyond it. >> george? >> in your speech today on poverty, you took notice people have been talking about for the 50 years since moynahan gave his famous report. he said in 1963, 7% of american children were born to unmarried mothers. today 40% are. >> right. >> since family is the primary transmitter of social capital and family disintegration correlates with all the problems with poverty, two questions, what caused this? we have seen family descent gralings and more famine and pestilence this is a prosperous america.
what can america do about it. >> largely the erosion of family and marriage in particular is the result of cultural and social changes that have occurred in our country for which government has a limited role that it can play. i think what government can do is serve as a catalyst for recognition. look, the statistics are unquestionable. 70-some odd percent of families with children living in poverty are not headed by married couple. and there is patrol car particular it call reasons for that marriage means two paychecks and there is social reasons for that as well. i do think government's role is -- do i think government has a role in the following sense and that is making sure our policies don't discourage marriage. we have safety net programs like medicaid that punish marriage. if you get married you could lose that benefit. also true in the tax code. marriage is a critical part of success. it is the single greatest erratic carat not a social issues. social and economic are not ernesto twined that's not
true. >> back in 2010 when i was following you around florida doing a story on you, you talked to a voter and indicated a willingness to consider something like major tax reform online consumption based tax or fair tax is that still something you think is a viable idea? >> it is. the problem is washington right now not conducive to doing big pieces of else. >> like immigration reform? >> that's true, too. >> that's essentially accurate assessment where we are today. look at the last few big pieces of legislation that have come from here. not only not an appetite to do it that way. quite frankly not functional at this point to be able to do things in that perspective. that's true for immigration and taxes. i think that might be true in an issue like poverty as well. that's the problem with it i do think there are reforms in the tax code that could allow us to create a more private vibrant enterprise economy. the corporate tax is encouraging companies to invest and reinvest overseas
and that's a direct competitive disadvantage for us. jobs, there are jobs that are not being created in the united states because our tax code puts us at a competitive disadvantage not just on the rate side also true on the complexity side. >> senator rubio will you stick around for online show? >> sure. >> excellent. another quick question about politics after this quick break. that's it for this panel. senator rubio is going to stick around as would you mentioned for the online show. we have one quick other tweet that came in we'll ask him about that just after this break. , you can't breathe through your nose... suddenly you're a mouth breather. a mouth breather! how do you sleep like that? you dry up, your cold feels even worse. well, put on a breathe right strip and shut your mouth. cold medicines open your nose over time, but add a breathe right strip, and pow! it instantly opens your nose up to 38% more so you can breathe and do the one thing you want to do. sleep.
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here are tonight's bing highlights. women agreed most when senator rubio said he is not sure secretary gates should have written his book. the highest intensity of the segment, two was 21,000 votes per minute when senator rubio said of course the war on terror is not over. total votes tonight almost
200,000. finally tonight i thought i would went another twitter question since we had so many of them. linda writes in to senator rubio how can republicans from the far right and moderates come together for voting in 2016? senator, i don't have much time but what do you think? >> we have to do it in 2014 first. one thing that unites most republicans and americans believe that the way forward for prosperity is the combination of free enterprise and limited government. limited government doesn't mean indifference effective government more than it is supposed to do not more than that free enterprise of social in human history. >> differences of the two sides of the party though can be worked out not only this year but ahead of a big presidential? >> i think that's agenda that unites all republicans as far as the tactics and strategies about the best way to pursue that there may be a healthy debate. no different than the democrats had a few years ago themselves. >> senator rubio, thank you. you are sticking around for the online show. we appreciate that it's a lot of fun. a lot more relaxed. we will take a lot more of your questions. thanks for inviting us into
your home tonight. that is it for this "special report," fair, balanced and unafraid. greta goes "on the record" right now and "special report" online with our special guest starts in just seconds. the bombshell book everyone is talking about, but what does secretary gates really think about president obama? former defense secretary robert gates blasting president obama's leadership in the afghanistan war. he writes the president was skeptical if not outright convinced his own strategy would fail. but gates also saying he thinks president obama was right in all of his decisions. are you confused? >> how can a president commit troops if his heart isn't in it if he knows americans are going to die? >> there was a need to refocus our strategy in afghanistan. >> i believe obama was right in each of these decisions. that's from the book. >> go, go, go, go. >> obama didn't trust the military. he didn't trust his